Preprint has been published in a journal as an article
DOI of the published article
Preprint / Version 1

Epidemic of Fear: Cause and Effect


  • Md Quadir Ali Lovely Professional University, Phagwara, India
  • Manish Kumar Verma Lovely Professional University, Phagwara, India



This review attempts to focus on the Epidemic of fear and its causes and effects on the people during the pandemic situation. Primarily the aim was to understand the psychological concept of the origination of fear due to epidemic or pandemic situations. Several theories and researches helped in explaining the underlying roots of the epidemics of fear and the behavioral changes in a person due to this. Through previous researches, a better understanding of the ways to prevent the fear of spreading among us is presented in this paper. Several types of researches and articles were studied that acted as the pillars of this paper reflect on the causes of the epidemic of fear.


Epidemic of Fear, Pandemic Situation, Cause


Download data is not yet available.


Apter, Terri. (2020, March 13) Epidemic Psychology.

Backman, F. (2014). A Man Called Ove: A Novel. Simon and Schuster.

Berry, D. (2017, Oct 25). The psychology of fear [Video]. YouTube

Borkovec, T. D., Robinson, E., Pruzinsky, T., & DePree, J. A. (1983). Preliminary exploration of worry: Some characteristics and processes. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 21, 9–16

Cave, S. (2013, July). The 4 stories we tell ourselves about death [Video]. Ted

Carleton, R. N., Norton, M. P. J., & Asmundson, G. J. (2007). Fearing the unknown: A short version of the Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale. Journal of anxiety disorders, 21(1), 105-117

Chow, D. (2020, April 3) Pandemic decision-making: Why Humans aren’t wired to understand the coronavirus. NBCNEWS.

Coyne, J. C., Wortman, C. B., & Lehman, D. R. (1988). The other side of support: Emotional overinvolvement and miscarried helping.

Dugas, M. J., Gosselin, P., & Ladouceur, R. (2001). Intolerance of uncertainty and worry: Investigating specificity in a nonclinical sample. Cognitive therapy and Research, 25(5), 551-558.

Fischhoff, B. (2011). Communicating about the risks of terrorism (or anything else). American Psychologist, 66(6), 520.

Goodwin, R., Haque, S., Neto, F., & Myers, L. B. (2009). Initial psychological responses to Influenza A, H1N1 (" Swine flu"). BMC Infectious Diseases, 9(1), 166.

Hatfield E, Cacioppo JT, Rapson RL (1993) Emotional contagion. Curr Dir Psychol Sci 2(3):96–100.

Hat?eld, E., Cacioppo, J. T., & Rapson, R. L. (1994). Emotional contagion. Studies in Emotion and Social Interaction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Holm, R. (2017, Nov). The danger of fearing death [Video]. TedX Brookings

Kramer, A. D., Guillory, J. E., & Hancock, J. T. (2014). Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(24), 8788-8790.

Leung, G. M., Lam, T. H., Ho, L. M., Ho, S. Y., Chan, B. H. Y., Wong, I. O. L., & Hedley, A. J. (2003). The impact of community psychological responses on outbreak control for severe acute respiratory syndrome in Hong Kong. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 57(11), 857-863.

Rogers, R. W. (1975). A protection motivation theory of fear appeals and attitude change1. The journal of psychology, 91(1), 93-114.

Rubin, G. J., Amlôt, R., Page, L., & Wessely, S. (2009). Public perceptions, anxiety, and behaviour change in relation to the swine flu outbreak: cross sectional telephone survey. Bmj, 339, b2651.

Ritchie, S. (2020, March 31). Don’t trust the psychologists on coronavirus.

Slovic, P. (1987). Perception of risk. Science, 236(4799), 280-285.

Stacy, Lu. (2015, March). An epidemic of fear.

Strong, P. (1990). Epidemic psychology: a model. Sociology of Health & Illness, 12(3), 249-259.

Teasdale, E., Yardley, L., Schlotz, W., & Michie, S. (2012). The importance of coping appraisal in behavioural responses to pandemic flu. British journal of health psychology, 17(1), 44-59.